EDTF harps on training of teachers for professionalism in Bayelsa

By Aherhoke Okioma

Executive Secretary of Education Development Trust Fund (EDTF) in Bayelsa, Dr. (Mrs) Alice Atuwo, has stated that the body is funding the training of teachers that came into the profession from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.

Bayelsa State Government, in one of its reform programs, had drafted civil servants with education qualifications such as National Certificate of Education (NCE), Bachelor Degree in Education (B.Ed) to the schools to complement the teaching staff in the sector and to enhance professionalism.

Atuwo, who stated this while speaking to The Trumpet in her office in Yenagoa, further explained that the state believes in the training and re- trainings of teachers and that informed the establishment of the Teachers Training, Registration and Certification Board (TTRCB) and the EDTF has being supporting it as part of its mandate.

According to her, the trainings which also include updating the knowledge base of headmasters of primary schools and other teachers, is done in batches, hinting that the on-going training for 300 Head Teachers at the University of Africa, Toru-Orua is the 2nd batch for this year. She also pointed out that the bulk of the funds of the Board goes into funding of the Model Schools which are located at the Local Government headquarters emphasizing that the total number of the model schools are now eleven.

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She noted that the policy trust of the present leadership at the Board is to ensure that the Trust Fund is judiciously and transparently run with primary focus for the sustenance of the Model Schools which according to her is intended to restore qualitative education for the overall development of the state. Dr. Atuwo further reiterated that there is adequate consideration for merit and accountability as only the best students across all the public schools are carefully chosen and admitted into the Model Schools which EDTF funds, particularly from the senior secondary level which is purely for boarding except the Ijaw National Academy which has the full complement of Boarding for the junior and senior secondary education.

She disclosed that this educational program started in 2016 but the Board was inaugurated in 2017 and handed the responsibility of supporting the running of the re-introduced Boarding Schools by the immediate past administration and continued by present administration under the leadership of Gov. Douye Diri. In her words ” the Model School Boarding programme started in 2016 with 330 students and it has grown to over 4000 students including those at the Sports Academy, Assoama.”

Responding to whether parents pay tuition fees, accommodation and feeding of their children in the schools, she stated that the schools are completely free as the children are under a scholarship program of the Bayelsa State Government. The EDTF Executive Secretary used the opportunity to express appreciation to the Gov. Douye Diri led Prosperity Administration for continuing the policy, positing that lack of continuity in government policies is always the bane of all round development of any society.

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